Nov 7, 2008 6:03am
Re: Great Dictator not PD
Working out the copyright on this film is a bit difficult.
The posted version is ripped directly from the Image Entertainment DVD (still has the CBS-Fox Video logo on it). This version has an altered Copright notice in the titles it reads:
Copyright (c) MCMXL
Charles Chaplin Film Corporation
Copyright Renewed MCMLXVIII
Roy Export Company Establishment
All Rights reserved."
The Copyright Office has a further registration of a 1993 restoration of the film which lists it initial registration date as 1938:
"The great dictator / written & directed by Charles Chaplin.
Type of Work: Motion Picture
Registration Number / Date: PA0000960022 / 2000-06-28
Title: The great dictator / written & directed by Charles Chaplin.
Description: 2 videodiscs.
Notes: In b&w.
Copyright Claimant: Roy Export Company Establishment (employer for hire)
Date of Creation: 1993
Date of Publication: 1993-02-01
Previous Registration: Motion picture prev. reg. 1938, DU60332.
Basis of Claim: New Matter: rev. version of motion picture; additional material.
Names: Chaplin, Charles
Roy Export Company Establishment"
The renewal year 1968 would be 28 years from publication because the film didn't premiere until 1940.
I can't find a 1938 registration in "The Catalog of Copyright Entries Motion Pictures 1912-1939" (1951). However, "The Catalogue Of Copyright Entries Motion Pictures 1940-1949" (1951, p.145) has a registration LP10041 31 Oct 40 which quotes the original Copyright notice:
"THE GREAT DICTATOR, released thru united artists c. 1940 Charles Chaplin Film Corp."
The valid notice and registration, the clear chain of ownership and revised edition's registration strongly suggest that the film is still in copyright.
This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2008-11-07 14:03:10